Mobile Ads on the Rise

NEW YORK One in three mobile phone users in the U.S.—or 78 million people—have seen or heard advertising on their phones within the last three months, according to the Mobile Advertising Report, a joint survey conducted by Limbo and GFK/NOP Research.

“The fact that so many people are aware of advertising [on their mobile phones] shows that it’s going to have some sort of real presence in the eyes of the consumer,” said Rob Lawson, CMO, Limbo. Lawson said this indicates that advertisers are beginning to use it as a mass-market media channel.

SMS (a text-messaging protocol) is the dominant media for mobile advertising; one in six mobile users recalled seeing SMS advertising. The study found that men are 20 percent more likely to recall advertising than women, and people under 20 are twice as likely to recall ads as those over 50.

“[SMS is] the simplest of the services, but has the highest reach,” said Lawson.

The aim of the research was to monitor the what, why and how of people’s mobile behavior, said Lawson. This included how they were using the Internet and text messaging on their mobile phones. Emphasis was placed on how they vary by demographics “to give brands a sense of ‘this is my target audience, how can I reach them on the cell phone,'” he said.

For instance, African Americans scored the highest percentage of recall, reaching 56 percent, followed by Hispanics, 36 percent, and caucasians, 27 percent. The 18- to 24-year-old cohort accounted for the highest percentage of recall, reaching 54 percent, followed by 25- to 34-year-olds, 36 percent, and 35- to 49-year-olds, 32 percent.

The most commonly recalled marketing sectors and brands included mobile carriers (AT&T and Verizon), entertainment (BET, Fox, MTV and various movies and musical artists) and packaged goods (Coke and Pepsi).

GFK/NOP interviewed 1,000 adults in the U.S. in November 2007.

Limbo is a mobile entertainment community; GFK/NOP is a market research company.